Dr Ricky CHIU - Founder, Chairman and CEO, Phase Scientific
The Innostars Award 2021 winner：
“We believe, therefore we see.”
Dr Ricky CHIU
Dr Ricky Chiu dreamed of becoming a scientist when he was a child so that he could contribute to protecting people’s health. When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Ricky and his team developed a rapid testing product that can quickly detect the virus. It became the first product in Greater China to be authorised by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. As a result, Ricky rose to fame and was selected one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Hong Kong in 2021.
Racing against Time on the Frontline against Covid-19
Ricky was born into a family of scholars—his parents were literature and history teachers. However, Ricky himself is interested in science. After finishing the fifth form in secondary school, Ricky went to the US to study biomedical engineering and earned a PhD. He later founded Phase Scientific in 2015 and returned to Hong Kong in 2017 to set up the company’s headquarters and focus on the development of cancer diagnostic tools.
The outbreak of Covid-19 in early 2020 reminded Ricky of the painful days of the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong. He decided to redirect the company towards the research and development of Covid-19 testing. Taking advantage of the different time zones in which his Hong Kong and US teams operate, he managed to achieve a 24/7 non-stop working cycle. This enabled the teams to develop a Covid-19 nucleic acid test kit at an amazing pace within merely three weeks.
Going beyond research and development, Ricky further expanded his business in collaboration with organisations in Hong Kong, and established a laboratory specialising in Covid-19 testing services. This laboratory is one of the five Covid-19 testing institutions and the only Hong Kong brand recognised by the HKSAR Government. Ricky does not attribute his success to luck, but to accurate judgments based on the pandemic situation and forecasts of the market demand for virus testing products. As he puts it, he has always been “a step ahead of the pandemic”.
Working Wholeheartedly towards Universal Health
In Ricky’s view, the existing medical system focuses on treatment but pays limited attention to early screening and prevention of diseases. Therefore, he strives to fulfil the intent to develop affordable, simple, and rapid testing tools so that people can better understand and manage their personal health. This is a step towards realising his greater goal of “making everyone healthier”.
Ricky hopes to promote science and innovation development in the future that will contribute to Hong Kong’s economic transformation. His motto “We believe, therefore we see” reflects his attitude towards the unknown challenges ahead. With trust in himself and his team, he bravely innovates outside his comfort zone. He is convinced that he will bring positive changes to society through new ideas and technology.